TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to Say Teacher in Chinese?
There are a few ways to call Teacher in Chinese. The most well-known name is 老师 Lǎoshī because it is a generic name for any field of studies. However, it is always good to be aware of a few terms of Teacher in Mandarin other than 老师 Lǎoshī.
Here is a little more information on the respect level in Chinese culture for teachers. A teacher is a very respected figure, especially in the older generation, where the literacy level back then was lesser compared to modern education. People were less educated and respected the teaching profession very much.
That said, you will never hear someone called a teacher by his name. He will always be respectfully addressed as “老师 Lǎoshī“. If you compare this to Western culture, you are allowed to call your teacher by his name. If you have a Chinese teacher, bear in mind never to call them by their names as this is regarded as disrespect in our culture unless they ask you to do so.
The eight traditional Chinese characters on the profile image “一日为师，终身为父 yī rì wéi shī, zhōng shēn wéi fù“, literally translated as “one day as a teacher, forever as a father“. That is to say, even if someone is your teacher for a day, you have to respect him like how you respect your father. Judging by this sentence, you would have guessed how the Chinese hold teachers in high esteem.
① School Teacher: 教师 Jiàoshī
Usually, 教师 Jiàoshī refers to a teacher in a mainstream education system. The below Chinese term 教师 Jiàoshī can be replaced by 老师 Lǎoshī too.
|Kindergarten Teacher||幼儿教师||Yòu’ér jiàoshī|
|Primary School Teacher||小学教师||Xiǎoxué jiàoshī|
|Secondary School Teacher||中学教师||Zhōngxué jiàoshī|
|University Teacher||大学教师||Dàxué jiàoshī|
|University Professor||大学教授||Dàxué jiàoshòu|
|Full-Time teacher||专职教师／全职教师||Zhuānzhí jiàoshī / Quánzhí jiàoshī|
|Part-Time Teacher||兼职教师||Jiānzhí jiàoshī|
|Foreign teacher||外籍教师||Wàijí jiàoshī|
|Private Teacher||家庭教师||Jiātíng jiàoshī|
② Teacher: 老师 Lǎoshī
老师 Lǎoshī is a generic name in any field of discipline. You can almost call any teacher in Chinese as your 老师 Lǎoshī. The main difference between 教师 Jiàoshī and 老师 Lǎoshī is that you cannot call your teacher as 教师 Jiàoshī when addressing them as seen from the example below:-
Teacher, I have some questions to ask you.
Jiàoshī, wǒ yǒu yīxiē wèntí xiǎng qǐngjiào nín.
Lǎoshī, wǒ yǒu yīxiē wèntí xiǎng qǐngjiào nín.
How to Address a Chinese Teacher Correctly?
You can add the Chinese Teacher’s surname (or name) in front of 老师 Lǎoshī if you wish. 老师 Lǎoshī is gender-neutral. The proper way to address a teacher is to use the formal You – 您 Nín instead of the standard You – 你 Nǐ.
Mr/Mrs/Miss Lim, I still have questions to ask you. Are you free?
Lín lǎoshī, wǒ hái yǒu wèntí xiǎng wèn nín. Nín yǒu kòng ma?
Type of Teacher in Chinese
Here is a list of Teacher in Chinese = Subject + 老师 Lǎoshī. You also learn the Chinese terms of the subjects. Alternatively, many terms below can be replaced by 教师 Jiàoshī if the teacher comes from a mainstream school.
|Chinese Teacher||中文老师，华文老师，华语老师，汉语老师||Zhōngwén lǎoshī, Huáwén lǎoshī, Huáyǔ lǎoshī, Hànyǔ lǎoshī|
|English Teacher||英文老师，英语老师||Yīngwén lǎoshī, Yīngyǔ lǎoshī|
|Science Teacher||科学老师||Kēxué lǎoshī|
|Math Teacher||数学老师||Shùxué ǎoshī|
|Accounts Teacher||会计老师||Kuàijì lǎoshī|
|Economic Teacher||经济老师||Jīngjì lǎoshī|
|Biology Teacher||生物老师||Shēngwù lǎoshī|
|Physics Teacher||物理老师||Wùlǐ lǎoshī|
|Chemistry Teacher||化学老师||Huàxué lǎoshī|
|Geography Teacher||地理老师||Dìlǐ lǎoshī|
|History Teacher||历史老师||Lìshǐ lǎoshī|
|PE Teacher||体育老师||Tǐyù lǎoshī|
|Painting Teacher||绘画老师||Huìhuà lǎoshī|
|Music Teacher||音乐老师||Yīnyuè lǎoshī|
|Piano Teacher||钢琴老师||Gāngqín lǎoshī|
|Violin Teacher||小提琴老师||Xiǎotíqín lǎoshī|
|Jazz Teacher||爵士乐老师||Juéshìyuè lǎoshī|
|Dance Teacher||舞蹈老师||Wǔdǎo lǎoshī|
|Yoga Teacher||瑜伽老师||Yújiā lǎoshī|
|Cooking Teacher||烹饪老师||Pēngrèn lǎoshī|
|Professional Teacher||专业老师||Zhuānyè lǎoshī|
|Tuition Teacher||补习老师||Bǔxí lǎoshī|
|Martial Arts Teacher||武术老师||Wǔshù lǎoshī|
③ Mentor in Chinese – 导师 Dǎoshī
When someone plays a role in providing guidance or mentoring, the person is a mentor 导师 Dǎoshī. It can be in any field of subjects.
|Postgraduate Mentor||研究生导师||Yánjiūshēng dǎoshī|
|PhD Supervisor||博士生导师||Bóshì shēng dǎoshī|
|Music Mentor||音乐导师||Yīnyuè dǎoshi|
|Singing Mentor||歌唱导师||Gēchàng dǎoshī,|
|Dance Mentor||舞蹈导师||Wǔdǎo dǎoshī|
Chinese Singing Contest
If you have watched the Chinese or Taiwanese singing competitions where a competitor is assigned a mentor, you will hear this term often. The TV programme is popular among Asian cultures, particularly the Chinese-speaking countries. Other than that, the term is not frequently used.
Here is a Youtube link to the most popular singing contest in China 四大战队导师歌曲串烧开场秀《中国新歌声2》 where you hear the compère repeat the word 导师 + Names of the Mentor two times within the first 2 seconds of the variety show.
④ Master: 师傅 / 师父 Shifu
师傅 Shīfù means Master in Chinese. He or She can be a teacher or perhaps not. The section on How to Say Master in Chinese will tell you more on:
- Who are the people qualified to be called 师傅 Shīfù and 师父 Shīfu?
- Difference between 师傅 Shīfù and 师父 Shīfu.
Check out the post!